MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Three teenagers have a harrowing tale to tell after their canoe capsized in the Boundary Waters.

Asher Bloom and his friends Grant Call and Josiah Murray were on a church trip when their canoe hit fast-moving rapids near the Canadian border, and then a rock, causing it to flip.

The teens told WCCO about their fears and how their faith carried them through it.

“Oh, I was worried all right,” Bloom said. “I was praying a lot.”

The Rochester teens said their canoe hit rapids not marked on their map.

“The current was way too strong to paddle, and we hit that rock on the right,” Call said.

Call and Murray flew into the water. The overturned aluminum canoe went under and wrapped around a rock, pinning Bloom’s foot, trapping him for hours.

“When it bent again, that’s when I had to squat down and just hang on for dear life, and it was up to my neck,” Bloom said.

The 16-year-old was in and out of consciousness near the end of the six-hour ordeal, as rescue teams worked to free him. Doctors told Bloom he was in the last stages of hypothermia.

“Basically my entire prayer was, ‘Lord save me, send a miracle,'” Bloom said.

“I remember this feeling of helplessness, because there was nothing I could do to help Asher,” Murray said.

The teens said the teams used a pulley system to free Bloom and get him to dry ground.

“Very intense, there was a lot of shouting,” Call said. “It was very emotional.”

A seaplane flew him to safety. Faith was at the forefront, even as fear began to take over.

“It scared the crap out of all of us,” Call said. “We were all praying, for hours on end that day, we were all praying.”

Bloom’s foot suffered some tissue damage, but the injury should heal.

The teens said this adventure won’t stop them from canoeing the Boundary Waters again.

Jennifer Mayerle

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